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Affiliation affects generosity in young children: The roles of minimal group membership and shared interests.

Affiliation affects generosity in young children: The roles of minimal group membership and shared interests.
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Sparks E, Schinkel MG, Moore C,


Sparks E, Schinkel MG, Moore C, (click to view)

Sparks E, Schinkel MG, Moore C,

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Journal of experimental child psychology 2017 03 19159() 242-262 pii S0022-0965(17)30108-X
Abstract

Young children’s willingness to share with others is selective, and is affected by their level of affiliation with the recipients of their generosity. We explored affiliation’s impact on sharing behavior with two experiments comparing the effects of two distinct affiliative cues-minimal group membership and shared interests. Children (4- to 6-year-olds) completed a resource allocation task, making forced-choice decisions as to how to distribute stickers between themselves and others. In Experiment 1, the sharing partners were minimal in- and out-group members; in Experiment 2, they differed in their opinion of the participants’ interests. Both experiments’ manipulations affected feelings of affiliation, as indicated by children’s stated friendship preferences and perceptions of similarity. More notably, both minimal group membership and interests affected sharing behavior. Children made fewer generous allocations toward out-group members than toward in-group members. Similarly, children made fewer generous allocations when recipients disliked their interests than when recipients shared those interests or when their opinions were unknown. Across experiments, the recipient manipulations’ effects on generosity were similar in their pattern and magnitude despite fundamental differences between the two affiliative cues. These findings highlight the broad impact of affiliation on young children’s sharing behavior.

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